|21 arrested in toll protest|
|Jan 21, 07 5:41pm (Malaysiakini)|
After watching the anti-toll hike protest from the sidelines for the past two weeks, the police today did the reverse - arresting 21 demonstrators even before the protest had started.
The demonstration in Cheras today was organised by anti-toll hike organisation Protes - a coalition of opposition parties, civil society groups, trade unions and student groups, in which Hatta is the movement's secretary.
The arrested protestors have been taken to the Kajang police headquarters.
Four protestors, including Tian Chua, were hurt in the melee with the police and had been taken to the hospital for treatment.
All the protestors held at the police station were released at about 9.30pm on police bail and have been asked to report to the Kajang magistrate's court on Feb 5.
Crowd in front of station
Earlier, DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng, who met with the police officials, told the media that he was given the assurance that the protestors would be released soon.
"They said that they will release the protestors after taking statements from them," he said.
A crowd of about 50 people has also gathered in front of the Kajang police station, waiting for the release of the protestors.
Kajang police chief ACP Rosli Mohd Nizam told the crowd to disperse as it was an illegal assembly.
In one of the spots - near a concrete road barrier closing an alternate route which bypass the Cheras-Kajang highway toll - about 30 would-be protestors led by PKR leader Lee Kim Sin had gathered. The concrete barrier forces residents in the area to use the toll highway.
However, some of them left the scene after the police warnings of dispersals.
Later, about 40 others led by Bandar Mahkota Cheras Free Access Road Action Committee president Tan Boon Hwa came to the area with banners and flags.
They were given five minutes to disperse, but the police started arresting the protestors in about three minutes.
Surprised and shocked by the harsh police action, the rest of the protestors slowly begin to disperse from the protest venues.
He was later released with his camera after about two hours from the Kajang police station.
[photographs by Andrew Ong]